Fri, Jan 18, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Freedom House executive lauds Taiwan’s democracy

Staff writer, with CNA, Washington

Taiwan remains one of the more impressive democracies in East Asia, with democratic institutions appearing to function well, an executive of the US-based human rights watchdog Freedom House said in a news conference on the release of the Freedom in the World 2013 report on Wednesday.

The group’s Research vice president Arch Puddington described Taiwan’s two-party system as “vigorous,” although the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is clearly in ascendancy.

“But everything I see about the functioning of Taiwanese democracy suggests to me that the freedoms in the country are not really in jeopardy right now,” Puddington said.

He pointed to a massive Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led demonstration over the weekend, in which government policies were severely criticized.

Although there have been prosecutions of leading DPP members, they were, in most cases, eventually found not guilty, he said.

“The workings of Taiwanese democracy have basically prevented democratic institutions from being seriously eroded,” Puddington said.

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